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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year : Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Steamed Chicken Dumplings

Out of all the Chinese New Year dishes to go crazy over, I have to say Dim Sum is my favorite. Born and raised in the Bay Area -Northern California, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, Chinese New Year was celebrated in full force.The Dragon Dance parade would go on forever, the beating of the drums, the long animated body in sync and rhythm.
The Asian community has a long standing history in the San Francisco community and surrounding cities.If am not mistaken, San Francisco's Chinatown is the second largest Chinatown next to New York. I'm open to discussions on this,  if off  the top of my head memory is fading.

But continuing where I left off, the steamed dumplings are just one of many appetizers a.k.a.- Dim Sum.
Exactly what is it?
Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine in which small portions of various foods are delicately prepared and consumed.
Small bite sized or individual portions of food are served in small plates. This is only a portion of the Chinese cuisine served throughout this two week celebration. Other foods are even dubbed as lucky,other symbolic of wealth etc.

It's roots are linked to an even older tradition yum cha ( tea tasting), which satisfied the travelers appetite along the Silk Road.

 As tradition would have it Tea Service is just as important as the food. Green tea, scented tea and so on.And you haven't heard by now tea is loading with anti-oxidants.Drink up, say it with me wrinkles go away! Stay at bay!

So there is my brief take on Dim Sum and its role it serves in the Chinese New Year Celebration.
Find a Chinese New Year Event near you and try out something new.
"Surprise your taste buds".

Pot Stickers


Friday, January 13, 2012

Flavor of the Month : Soup Service

Cream of Broccoli Cheddar Horseradish Soup
OK, Winter is still around and so are the comforting winter warming soup recipes.Soup's On!
Most of us would agree we can literally eat soup out of any bowl we want, as long as it gets the job done.

But for the  die hard soup connoisseurs,soup service is to be followed to the tee, with a capital T!
With good reason, it can make a huge difference when serving and getting the best taste out of your soup.
No one enjoys sipping on lukewarm or downright cold soup, no matter what.

Proper soup service  is essential. Why does it matter? For the simple fact that, the type of soup served in the proper bowl keeps it warmer or hotter longer.The ingredients merry better with warmth.

For instance, cream soups and consomme`s which cool very quickly should be served in a deep bowl.It takes longer to cool while consuming the liquid.

Chowders, fish soups, and other soups with numerous ingredients would be better off served in a shallow,wide-rimmed bowl.It can hold chunks of food well and you can access the content without having to dig into the bowl. You sort of  side swipe it into your soup spoon without the mess!

So with your next Winter warmer, try using the best serving vessel and see if it make a difference.


Popular categories of soup are as follows, Clear-Consomme, broths, stocks.Creamed, Pureed soups, and of course the hearty Chowders, Chunky vegetable soups and so on. So versatile are the ingredients you can practically create a soup recipe in no time. And the stand by classic soup recipes never go out of style.

Cream of Broccoli Cheddar-Horseradish Soup

1 1/2 cups.- Broccoli( rough chopped or fine)
1/2- medium yellow onion (chopped fine)
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup-heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cup of Horseradish White-Cheddar Cheese
1tsp.-Onion powder
1tsp. -salt
3tbsp.- Unsalted butter

2-3quart sauce pan

Chop broccoli to your preference *( I preferred a rough chop here for aesthetics: to see color of the cream base, I preferred not to have your typical green broccoli cream)

Blanch the broccoli, keep in the cold water until ready to add to base.

Chop onions as directed above. Set aside.

Make a white roux with butter and flour, add more butter if needed to the saucepan.
Add chopped onions,  and lightly saute until onions are transparent.Add chicken broth, then simmer for about twenty minutes.

Add drained broccoli and simmer another 20mins, do not let the broccoli turn grey.Whisk in the cheese, then the cream until base is velvety smooth.Heat on a very low heat until base is hot, whisking as needed. And serve immediately.

If you have any questions regarding this recipes or others posted, please contact Roz?
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Family's Christmas Favorites

 When families come together for the holidays, I think there is one common ground we all share as a universal body. Regardless of our cultural backgrounds, we all want to eat our mom's special cooking at Christmas.
These are the King family Christmas dinner must haves! It's tradition Gumbo and the other trimmings for dinner. I think next year will be the perfect time to explore other Christmas dinner traditions. For instance what is on a typical Asian Christmas menu, how about the Latin Christmas dinner palate?

Researching and interviews from as many non-American cultures as possible will be an eye opener,don't you think? Hope you can join me, inform me, also share pics, recipes from far away places.
Until next posting, keep those pots and pans rattling and the oven pre-heated and ready to go!

Seafood Gumbo

My Granddaughter's and daughter's gingerbread house

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red Velvet Cake

Christmas Sugar Cookies